Happy In Hawaii
Master July 2015

How much to give for a wedding I can't attend

Happy In Hawaii, on August 9, 2014 at 7:38 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 21
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Ok I'm sure I could have used the search bar to find this answer, but I'm lazy, and I like getting comments on posts lol!

My cousin is getting married next week, she invited both me and and my FH but we couldn't make it. We are both graduate students so we don't make very much and of course we're really trying to save our money. This cousin is not close to me at all, I've probably seen her less than 5 times my whole life. So what do you think is the appropriate amount to spend on a gift from the two of us?

Also, she has a registry, a honeyfund, and a Macy's dream card (like a gift card). I usually like to get tangible gifts for people off of the registry, but I wasn't sure if I should do that because her wedding is in a different state from where she lives, so if I have it sent to her address it would probably get there when she isn't there. Should I just send a check or do the Macy's gift card (not really into doing a honeyfund)?

21 Comments

Latest activity by OMW, on August 10, 2014 at 7:44 AM
  • ~*World Of Whimsical*~
    VIP November 2015
    ~*World Of Whimsical*~ ·
    • Flag

    I would say throw $20-$50 towards her Dream Card and call it a day. That's around the average price for a gift these days.

    ETA: Kudos to you for even offering to get her a gift. Most people who decline think that's their ticket to being cheapskates towards the bride and groom who thought enough of them to send them an invite.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    Fifty bucks?

    • Reply
  • The New Mrs. Compton
    Super November 2014
    The New Mrs. Compton ·
    • Flag

    Since you aren't attending, I feel like a $100 is very generous.

    Also, most registry places will deliver gifts within a week. You could still do something off of that. Macy's and Bed Bath and Beyond deliver pretty quickly.

    • Reply
  • KR
    Super September 2014
    KR ·
    • Flag

    I wouldn't expect a huge gift from someone in grad school (or anyone for that matter!)! Is say around $25-$35 is supper sufficient.

    ( where I'm from, $50 is a significant gift, even for professionals, so I would never expect that from someone I haven't known for awhile and who is still in school)

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  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    I don't really understand inviting people you never see.....

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  • Bri
    Dedicated August 2014
    Bri ·
    • Flag

    I honestly wouldn't give anything. I would find it odd to give a gift to someone you never see and have only seen a handful of times your whole life. Did they invite you just to get a gift? Seriously, if money is tight I would just save my money if I were you. If you feel you MUST give something I would spend no more than 50$.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    Bri is right.

    • Reply
  • Happy In Hawaii
    Master July 2015
    Happy In Hawaii ·
    • Flag

    Wow a lot of interesting perspectives, I'm glad most of you don't think I should spend more than $50 really, I just wasn't sure if for two people that would look bad.

    As for why I was invited: She invited me because that side of the family is pretty small, me and my sister are her only cousins on her mom's side (possibly only cousins at all). Also, growing up my family always still exchanged money at Christmas so it's fairly normal to spend on each other. And then another reason is she was invited to my sister's wedding last year and attended, and most likely she'll attend our wedding. We would have gone to her wedding if it hadn't been for my exam coming up in 4 weeks.

    ETA: I also don't see her often because she has always lived in a different state, also has a pretty different lifestyle. She's a cool person, just didn't have many opportunities growing up to see her. I actually would have been more offended if I didn't get invited, so I'm glad she did and I do want to at least give a little something.

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  • Bri
    Dedicated August 2014
    Bri ·
    • Flag

    Well in that case it seems she has a good reason to have invited you. Get them something you can reasonably afford.

    • Reply
  • Annie & Javi
    Master October 2015
    Annie & Javi ·
    • Flag

    Good question. Whenever I have gone to a wedding I have always gifted $200-$300 except for once when we were really tight on money, we actually bought $250 worth of gifts off a registry, but I took advantage of the sales Macys has and I used a coupon so we only spent $100.

    If you can get away with doing something along the actual gift route like I did I would say do that so it looks like you spent more but really didn't lol. However if that isn't an option I would say $50-$100 toward her Macys gift card thing is fine.

    Edited for typo that said $500 instead of $50 lol!

    • Reply
  • Z
    Master May 2012
    Zoe ·
    • Flag

    A while ago someone used the phrase 'give as you are moved and can afford' which I thought was perfect, since we don't know your financial status, nor how expensive/cheap it is where you (or she) live, nor how much you want to spend. So just ask yourself, "How much would I like to spend?" and be done.

    • Reply
  • D
    Dedicated June 2015
    Deb ·
    • Flag

    If you think you would have wanted to attend and plan to invite her to YOUR wedding, then send whatever you can afford...even $10 or $20 is ok.

    • Reply
  • LJ411
    Master April 2015
    LJ411 ·
    • Flag

    I would probably add $50 to her dream fund and call it a day Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Mrs. F-u-...
    Master December 2014
    Mrs. F-u-... ·
    • Flag

    If she is invited to your wedding (and most likely atending), I would send a gifT of some sort. $50 would be fine, less if $50 isn't manageable. It would be weird for her to come and get you a gift for your wedding but you not give something for hers. At least, that's how my mind works.

    • Reply
  • P
    VIP May 2015
    Private ·
    • Flag

    I think $50 since you are family, $25 if it were just friends.

    • Reply
  • Happy In Hawaii
    Master July 2015
    Happy In Hawaii ·
    • Flag

    Thanks you guys for all the help! I'm really glad to have some different opinions, I think I'll try to go with somewhere between $40 and $50 (I'll see how the bills go this month).

    • Reply
  • P
    VIP May 2015
    Private ·
    • Flag

    I disagree with Erin since it is your family. Could have potential family drama if you give nothing. Family members get crazy like that, just my two cents.

    • Reply
  • Happy In Hawaii
    Master July 2015
    Happy In Hawaii ·
    • Flag

    Haha I agree Care Bear, I don't want to offend anyone, especially since I would have attended if I could have, and the rest of my family is actually going. I see your point Erin, but I know I'll at least get her something since she invited me but it is nice to know that I shouldn't feel obligated to give a lot.

    • Reply
  • TugBride
    Expert October 2018
    TugBride ·
    • Flag

    I think your plan of $40 - $50 is reasonable. Around this area depending on your family $50 is a huge gift (unless your family is well off). So I think $50 is more than sufficient however looking from someone elses perspective it seems reasonable and should keep your family happy.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    If she knows you well enough to know you're both in grad school, she'll know (more or less) what your financial situation is. Do what you can, write a lovely card and feel that you've done the right thing.

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